Foods that make you happy – according to science!

Do you know which foods make you happy? Here's a list of the best happiness-inducing eats, perfect for putting a smile on your face when you’re feeling a bit down.


by Aline Barbosa

Published on 10/10/2022

Some types of food can really improve your mood! Learn which ones

happy woman holding orange slices
Food can improve your mood – some more than others! Source: Freepik.

Human beings are constantly in pursuit of happiness. In fact, most of us are willing to try almost anything that can bring us peace and joy. But did you know that there are certain foods that can make you happy?

In the past decade, there have been many studies that associate nutrition with mental well-being.

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According to these reports, consuming certain types of food can increase serotonin in a person’s brain. 

Serotonin is commonly known as the “happy hormone”. It is a chemical that has an important role in regulating a person’s mood.

High serotonin levels can make you feel joyful, while low serotonin levels can really affect your mood and cause instability. 

So, are you ready to learn which foods can make you happy? Keep reading the content below and we’ll tell you. 

What are some foods that will make you happy?

We’re all looking for ways to boost our mood and feel a little happier, right? Well, it turns out that some foods can help with that! Here are some of the best foods to eat if you’re looking for a happiness boost.

Dark chocolate

happy woman eating dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is not only delicious, but it is also good for your mood. Source: Freepik.

Dark chocolate makes us feel happy because it contains components that boost our mood.

These foods include tryptophan, which is an amino acid that helps the body produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in regulating our mood, sleep, and appetite. 

Dark chocolate also contains phenylethylamine, which is a chemical the brain releases when we are falling in love.

Phenylethylamine is also known as the “love drug” because it promotes feelings of excitement and happiness.

In addition, dark chocolate contains caffeine, which can improve our focus and energy levels. So next time you’re feeling down, reach for a bar of dark chocolate and enjoy the mood-boosting benefits!


Bananas are also one of the foods that can make you happy! That is because bananas contain tryptophan, an amino acid that is used by the body to produce serotonin.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in regulating mood, and foods that are high in tryptophan can help to boost levels of serotonin in the brain.

They’re also a good source of dietary potassium, which is essential for nerve and muscle function.

Low levels of potassium have been linked to feelings of anxiety and depression, so eating bananas can help to improve mood by keeping potassium levels balanced.

Additionally, Bananas are a good source of dietary fiber, which can promote feelings of fullness and reduce stress levels.

The tryptophan and other nutrients in this versatile fruit may help to boost your mood and improve your overall health.


According to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, eating coconuts can help to boost your mood and make you happy – and it is also nutritious food!

The study found that participants who ate foods rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), like coconuts, experienced increased levels of happiness and well-being.

Researchers believe that MCTs are more easily absorbed and metabolized by the body, which may help to explain their mood-boosting effects.

Coconuts are also a rich source of several nutrients, including magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C.

Additionally, coconuts contain fatty acids that can help to improve brain function. One study found that consuming foods rich in fatty acids may help to reduce symptoms of depression.

While more research is needed to confirm these effects, eating coconuts may be a simple and delicious way to improve your mood.


happy woman drinking coffee
Some people can’t start the day without a cup of coffee. Source: Freepik.

When we feel low, one of the first things we often reach for is a cup of coffee. But why does coffee make us happy? It turns out that coffee isn’t just a pick-me-up. It can actually help to boost our mood.

Coffee contains compounds like caffeine and antioxidants, which have been shown to improve mental health. It is a drink and not food, but it will make you happy!

Caffeine helps to increase alertness and vigilance, while antioxidants protect against stress and inflammation.


According to a recent study, avocado may be one of the foods that can make you feel happy.

The study found that people who ate avocado daily for three weeks had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and reported feeling happier and more relaxed than those who did not eat it.

Avocados are rich in healthy fats, which are essential for maintaining cell membranes and supporting brain health.

In addition, they are a great source of vitamin B, which has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety.


When you eat foods that make you happy, your body releases chemicals that improve your mood. Berries are one type of food that can have this effect.

One reason for this is that berries are a good source of antioxidants. Antioxidants help to protect your cells from damage, and they have been linked to increased levels of happiness and pleasure. 

Berries are also a good source of fiber. Fiber helps to keep your digestive system healthy, which can also lead to improved feelings of well-being.

So if you’re looking for a natural way to boost your mood, reach for a handful of berries next time you need a pick-me-up.

Fermented foods

When you eat foods that have been fermented, such as yogurt or kimchi, your body gets a boost of good bacteria. Fermented food will not only make you happy, but also healthier.

This good bacteria is important for several reasons. First, it helps to break down the food you eat so that your body can absorb more nutrients.

Second, it helps to protect your gut from harmful bacteria. Third, and most relevant to this question, it helps to produce serotonin.

Serotonin is a chemical that plays a role in regulating mood and can help to promote feelings of happiness and well-being.

What are whole foods?

A whole foods diet can also increase your serotonin levels and has many types of foods that can make you happy.

But do you know what they are? Follow the link below to learn more about the importance of consuming whole foods.

table with healthy food whole grains fish vegetables

What are whole foods?

Are you on a mission, trying to eat healthier? In this article, we’ll look over what whole foods are and some great examples of where to find them. Read on for more!

About the author

Aline Barbosa

Aline Barbosa is an editor, writer and learning-enthusiast. Passionate about music, books and human behavior. Curious about the unknown. Believer that learning is a life-long process.

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